Benchling has released a new version of the Inventory table. This article describes the new features and functionality. Learn more about the historical Inventory table and the differences between the historical and new Inventory table.
Note: Inventory tables were previously called transfer tables.
What are Inventory tables?
Inventory tables allow you to manage sample transfer into or between containers and allow you to update container attributes directly within your notebook entry.
Each container type will use its own version of an Inventory table. With this, each Inventory table can only transfer into or update a single, specified container schema.
Each row in an Inventory table corresponds to a transfer or a container update. A transfer may simultaneously transfer a sample to multiple containers. You may specify the barcodes to which the sample must be transferred or automatically generate barcodes. A container update allows you update the quantity or archive the container.
If you can't find Inventory tables in the insert menu, please use the in-app help function to contact Benchling to enable these.
Add an Inventory table to your notebook or workflow entry
1. Add an Inventory table to an entry by opening the notebook entry, navigating to the Insert menu on the formatting panel, and selecting Inventory table.
2. Specify if you want to Create and fill new containers, Fill existing containers or Update container or plate well attributes.
3. If you select Create and fill new containers or Fill existing containers then select the Source the sample is being taken from (Entity, Container, Plate), the Destination that the sample is going to (container or box), and the Container schema of that destination. When creating new containers, select a method for generating barcodes, either autogenerated barcodes (created by Benchling using the container schema settings) or custom barcodes (written manually by the user). If using existing containers, you will not be prompted to create barcodes as the barcodes of the existing containers will be used automatically.
If you select the option Update container or plate well attributes, then select the Container schema.
4. Select Insert to insert the inventory table into the entry. Continue to the next section to learn how to add samples to the table, transfer them to containers, update container attributes directly within the notebook entry using the inventory table.
Note that each row that is added to this table will represent a sample transfer or a container update. The following are the table columns for each of the actions:
Source Container (if the sample is being taken from another container)
Destination Location, Box, or Plate (depending on the Destination specified)
Destination Position (the location of the new container within the box or plate)
Destination Container (automatically populated after the Transfer button is selected to fill the containers)
Quantity (Right click to specify the units)
Concentration (Right click to specify the units)
Any additional columns for container fields specific to the selected container schema
Updating container attributes
Contents (this will be automatically filled after you select a container)
Location (this will be automatically filled after you select a container)
Position (this will be automatically filled after you select a container)
Quantity (this will be automatically filled after you select a container)
Units (this will be automatically filled after you select a container)
Add/Deduct by ( this will change the quantity of the container)
- Concentration (this will be automatically filled after you select the container & you can update the value)
- Concentration units (this will be automatically filled after you select the container & you can update the value)
- Schema fields (this will be automatically filled after you select the container & you can update the value)
- Inventory actions button will allow you to:
- Reserve a container
- Check in a container
- Check out a container
- Move a container
- Archive a container
- Print labels for a container
Fill out a Inventory table
Once an inventory table is created, the next step is to input the relevant information to conduct a sample transfer.
1. Add samples to the inventory table.
(a) Add an entity to your inventory table directly. Click into the Source Entity cell and type to search for existing entities. Add more rows by dragging down the three horizontal line icon at the bottom left of the table.
(b) Add an entity from a structured table, worklist, or spreadsheet. To import entities from other sources, click on the “+” icon on the top left corner of your inventory table. Select one of the following:
Add from structured table to add entities from registration tables or transfer tables in the current entry
Add from worklist to add entities from an existing worklist
Add from spreadsheet to import multiple samples in bulk into the transfer table using a spreadsheet that matches the table columns (see this section for more information).
2. Specify the destination location by double-clicking in the cells of the Destination column. Type to search for a location, box, or plate.
3. If applicable, specify the position within the box or plate that the sample will fill by:
Manually type the well position coordinate (e.g. A4).
Auto-populate the next available position(s) in the location(s) you have specified. Select the 3x3 squares icon in the top right corner and specify if auto-fill should occur across rows or down columns in the destination.
4. If applicable, complete the quantity, concentration, and container fields. Click into the respective cells for quantity, concentration, and container fields and input the appropriate information. It is not required to specify a quantity or a concentration for a container.
5. Select Transfer to transfer the sample(s) into the specified containers!
Bulk importing transfers via the add from spreadsheet option
To bulk add transfers via a spreadsheet, click the “+” icon at the top of the transfer table and select Add from Spreadsheet.
You will then see a window that will allow you to import from either a spreadsheet or raw text.
For a spreadsheet upload, the first row should specify column headers which must be unique and should match the columns of the transfer table. Each subsequent row should specify an input sample and the associated transfer data per column (ex. Destination Location, Destination Position, Quantity, Concentration, etc.).
For a raw text upload, enter comma- or tab-separated text in the box that appears. Pasting data from a spreadsheet is supported. Be sure that the first row specifies column headers. These must be unique and should match the columns of the transfer table. Each subsequent row should specify an input sample and the associated transfer data per column (ex. Destination Location, Destination Position, quantity, Concentration, etc.).
Benchling supports ingestion of localized numbers and dates. You can configure your Locale in the user settings. To learn more, visit Updating user locale.
Update Container's attributes
Select the update container or plate well attributes option when you insert the inventory table to update a container's quantity or archive the container.
To change the quantity of a container, first select the container in the Container column and then add a numerical value to the Add/deduct by column. To add quantity, add a "+" before the numerical value. To deduct quantity, add a "-" before the numerical value. Click Submit to change the quantity.
To archive a container, select the container in the Container column, then click into Inventory actions and select Archive. This will open a modal in which you can select the containers you want to archive and the reason for the archival. You can also archive the content of the container by toggling the checkbox Archive contained samples.
Update container concentration
To update concentration for contents in a container, first select the container in the Container column and then update the numerical value in the concentration column. You may also update the concentration's units. Once updated, click Submit to change the concentration. Please note: you cannot nullify or remove the concentration value in the table and you cannot update the concentration of containers that hold multiple contents.
Update the reserve, check in, or check out status of a container
To reserve, check out, or check in a container, click into Inventory actions and select one of Reserve, Check out or Check in. This will open a modal in which you can select the containers you want to reserve, check out, or check in. Specify the Assignee and optionally add containers to a worklist. Submit the modal. The container will change color to indicate the new reserve, check out, or check in status.
To move a container, click into Inventory actions and select Move. This will open a modal in which you can select a new destination location for the container. You may make this selection in the search bar or the location picker. Submit the modal. The container's destination will update immediately on the container's metadata. You will see a purple dog ear on the column, indicating that the destination has updated. Refresh the table to see the new destination location and position.